General Question

Spargett's avatar

Does using a ceiling fan make a hot room warmer or cooler?

Asked by Spargett (5377points) May 27th, 2008

It seems to me like it blows the hottest air that rises to the ceiling back down, thus heating the area most people will be. What are your thoughts?

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12 Answers

nighttripper's avatar

the air it’s blowing might be hot but the wind it creates blows your body heat away from your body making you feel cooler I think

gailcalled's avatar

I have a ceiling fan that can rotate in either direction; one draws the hot air up; the other direction pushes it down.

bluemukaki's avatar

Technically fans don’t actually affect the temperature of a room, just create the feeling of coolth by speeding up the process of perspiration by allowing sweat to evaporate from your skin faster.

So it will make it feel cooler.

Allie's avatar

gailcalled: My fan rotates both ways too.

I have it running so that it pushes the air down. It feels like the breeze on my skin keeps the hot air off and makes the room cooler. I usually sleep in a t-shirt and underwear anyways, but on summer nights I like to turn the fan on and sometimes open my window.

marinelife's avatar

@bluemukaki I love “coolth”!

I agree that by providing air movement, fans at least appear to cool a room.

gailcalled's avatar

When it’s really hot and uncomfortable, I have a portable floor fan that I keep next to the bed and run on high. When it is unbearable, I wear wet T and undies and run the fan. Summers can be pretty muggy…

Allie; where are you during the summer?

nighttripper's avatar

OMG GAILCALLED!!! that’s a brilliant idea! I’m so going to try that!

Allie's avatar

I’m in Northern California. Davis to be exact. Our heat is usually a dry heat with temperatures staying around high 90s to mid 100s during the summer. Unless it’s a super hot day when it might be low to mid hundred-teens. On these super hot days I prefer to sleep in just underwear and definitely open my window.

iamatypeofwalrus's avatar

Fan on with a window open tends to work for me.

mac316's avatar

Air in a room tends to stratify, that is, the warmer air will rise while the cooler air falls. The idea of a ceiling fan is to break up this effect and cause a more uniform overall temperature. By running the fan blowing down, you also get a wind chill effect of evaporatig perspiration. During the winter, running the fan with the upward flow causes the warm air from the top of the room to return to the floor without blowing on you and causing the wind chill effect. It’s a useful and energy efficient appliance in either season.

Stitch's avatar

The fan acts like a big blender, mixing up all the air in the room. In the winter, this is good because warm air near the ceiling is mixed into the cooler air near the floor, resulting in a warmer temperature near the floor. In summer, even though warm air from near the ceiling is being mixed into the cooler air near the floor, the air movement helps evaporate perspiration and make people in the room more comfortable through evaporative cooling.

Hope this helps,
H-Mac Systems

wsmith9106's avatar

How does a fan blowing in a sealed room affect the temperature (not the windchill) of the room.

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